Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Sand Palace

This entry goes hand in hand with last week’s entry. It doesn't exactly explain the situation, but it helps to an extent. 

Rhi sighed, brushing a strand of long purple hair out of her face. She and Al had been driving for what seemed like weeks, having stopped only a few times to barter for food and petrol.

Out in the Zones, that was all there really was to do for two drifters. With no rebel group to call their own, it was near impossible to make any real sort of impact in the fight against The Leader. Granted, they were quite good at fighting off the Exterminators that were sent their way; the best according to some of the rebels. However, in the grand scheme of things, a few dead Exterminators hardly mattered.

Over the roar of the engine, Rhi heard the distinct sound of raygun shots.

"Shit," she cursed. "Exterminators!"

 Al slammed on the brakes, sending the supped up El Camino drifting across the sand.

“I think it’s a raid,” Al warned, violet locks twirling as she spun to look out the back window.

A group of Exterminators were closing in on them. Through the window, Rhi could see the the outline of the lead Exterminator, the Scarecrow, glowering at them. 

“Shit,” Al muttered, throwing the car into reverse and spinning around.

Al’s driving motto was something along the lines of “if the Exterminators find you, go the other way as fast as possible.” Granted, it often got them out of trouble. However, Al’s driving tended to leave something to be desired when they were under attack, and though Rhi was a good shot, she found it quite impossible to shoot accurately while getting bounced around in the little El Camino.

Firing a few shots out the window, Rhi did her best to stay balanced as the car drifted sideways down a sand hill.

“Hanging in there?” Al asked.

“Barely,” Rhi admitted through gritted teeth.

The Exterminators seemed to be trailing behind now, though not as much as Rhi would find comfortable. A few more shots and she ducked back into the car.

At the peak of on of the hills, Rhi noticed something looming in the distance. A great structure made entirely out of, what appeared to be, sand.

“Do you see that?” she yelled, straining to be heard over the roar of the motor.

“The big sand castle?” Al replied. "Yeah. Do you think there is anyone there?" 

“I would imagine. I mean, it’s a castle.”

“I don’t know if it’s possible to live in a sandcastle.” 

“Does it really matter? It's big and it will get us out of sight." 

Anxiously, Rhi glanced over her shoulder, seeing no sign of the Exterminators that had been tailing them. Though they may have lost them, Rhi felt it best to not get her hopes up.

The car didn’t slow until they were absurdly close to the castle. Al slammed on the breaks and slid up to gates.

As far as the girls could tell, the place appeared to be abandoned. It wasn’t unusual for rebel groups to leave their places of residence behind, but this was a rarity, abandoned or otherwise. It was absolutely huge, easily the size of an actual stone castle. It looked completely livable, if it weren’t for the gates being closed.

Cautiously, the girls got out of the car, holding their guns in plain sight to show that they were armed, but did not intend to use their weapons.

“Halt!” came a voice from above them.

Squinting against the sun, Rhi looked up at a man standing just above the gate. She wasn't sure how she had missed him when she first saw the castle.

“Who goes there?” the man demanded.

“This guy takes his job way too seriously,” Rhi muttered.

“We’re travelers,” Al replied. “We’ve been running the Zones and just had a clap with some Exterminators.”

“Exterminators?” repeated the guard in disbelief. “They never come this far out here. How do I know you aren’t lying?”

“Because,” Rhi shouted back. “I’m Rhiannon Cambridge and this is my partner Alarice Jones; we are the Destroyer.”

“Now I know you're lying. The Destroyer is just a myth.”

Rolling her eyes, Rhi removed her coat, motioning for Al to do the same. They stood side to side, allowing their dragon tattoos to morph into the image of one angry fire breather.

The guard gaped at them a moment before motioning for the gates to be lifted.

That was, in Rhi’s opinion, the one good thing about being a well known Zone drifter; she and Al were both allowed anywhere that the rebels ran. They were honored to have them as guests, and all because the two of them had rather fantastic aim. So fantastic, in fact, that they were legendary. Some rebels didn't even believe they existed.

Despite appearing to be made out of sand, the gates lifted easily.

A guard came to meet them in the causeway and in his wake followed a man dressed in a leather coat. He wore a smug expression behind his stick straight raven hair.

“Greetings,” he smirked. “I hear tell that the Destroyer has come to my…humble abode.”

“Real humble,” Rhi whispered to Al. The man didn’t seem to notice.

“What is this beautiful place?” Al asked, not trusting Rhi to be so polite in her inquiries.

“This,” announced the man. “Is the Great Sand Palace. I am Jacoby and this is home to me and my little group of rebels.”

The girls looked around, sensing that this man’s so-called “little group” was about as little as this palace was humble.

“And what group do we have the honor of meeting?” Al prompted.

“We are the Rock n Rollers.”

Rhi raised an eyebrow. The Rock n Rollers were about as well known in the Zones as the Destroyer. They were one of the largest groups around. Even The Leader was a bit intimidated by them.

“I guess we could stay a while,” she shrugged, winking at Al and following Jacoby into the palace.

1 comment:

  1. Great job, sounds like it is going to turn into something wonderful :)